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Blog Entry

Dear Gary (on why I have Duke ahead of Syracuse)

Posted on: January 19, 2010 12:54 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2010 1:58 pm
 

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: How can you have Duke ahead of Syracuse?

-- Every Syracuse fan on the planet


Emails and Tweets including those words started arriving Sunday shortly after I updated the Top 25 (and one), and they haven't really stopped. I ignored them for a while, then started looking at it from every angle. And what I've found, I hate to admit, is that you guys are right, that there's no real way for me to justify Duke ahead of Syracuse.

Now let me explain what happened.

When Syracuse lost at home to Pitt on Jan. 2, I dropped the Orange to No. 9 while Duke came in at No. 5. Duke was 12-1 with its lone loss coming at Wisconsin, and Syracuse was 13-1 with its lone loss coming at home to Pitt. At the time, the home loss to Pitt looked bad, because nobody (except AP voter Roger Clarkson, of course) thought Pitt was good. Then the Blue Devils lost at Georgia Tech the following weekend, but they still had three wins over teams I had ranked Jan. 10 (Connecticut , Gonzaga and Clemson) while Syracuse only had one win over a team I had ranked Jan. 10 (North Carolina). So I considered that, decided the home loss to Pitt was still kind of questionable, and gave the edge to Duke.

I had Duke No. 6 and Syracuse No. 7 on Jan. 10.

Which brings us to this past week.

As you know, Syracuse won at Rutgers, then won at West Virginia while Duke beat Boston College and Wake Forest. Meantime, Duke's win over UConn started looking worse (because UConn has now lost three straight), and Syracuse's loss to Pitt started looking better (because Pitt has now won eight straight). Bottom line, Syracuse went to bed Sunday with a 17-1 record featuring two wins over teams I currently have ranked (No. 11 West Virginia and No. 24 North Carolina) while Duke went to bed Sunday with a 15-2 record featuring two wins over teams I currently have ranked (No. 14 Gonzaga and No. 15 Clemson).

Clearly, Syracuse has the best win (at West Virginia).

Clearly, Syracuse has fewer losses.

And though I suppose I could argue that losing a home game to No. 8 Pittsburgh is worse than losing road games at No. 18 Wisconsin and No. 23 Georgia Tech, I'm not sure I believe that to be true. Thus, I acknowledge, that what I should've done after Syracuse's win at West Virginia was jump the Orange over the Blue Devils, put Syracuse fifth and Duke sixth, then debated whether to put Syracuse ahead of Villanova, too.

In other words, you're right.

Is it close?

Yes.

But, I agree, Syracuse should be ranked ahead of Duke right now.

I got it wrong.
Category: NCAAB
Tags: Duke, Syracuse
 
Comments

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2010 12:49 pm
 

Dear Gary (on why I have Duke ahead of Syracuse)

If you want a completely mathematical evaluation of each team - don't look at Gary's poll, go to kenpom.  You'll find Duke ranked ahead of Syracuse.  I don't think Ken is going to apologize for his algorithm.

Or, you can go to the CBSSports.com RPI poll, which has Syracuse ranked ahead of Duke and everyone else.



Since: Jan 8, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2010 12:30 pm
 

Dear Gary (on why I have Duke ahead of Syracuse)

How about we acknowledge that Gary actually spent some time to consider alternative opinions and had the guts to admit he was wrong and/or change his mind.  Thanks Gary for listening to the idiot masses everyonce in a while.



Since: Jan 27, 2009
Posted on: January 20, 2010 9:30 am
 

Dear Gary (on why I have Duke ahead of Syracuse)

Typo my friend:

"Syracuse's win over Pitt started looking better" -- fix it.





Since: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2010 5:41 pm
 

Dear Gary (on why I have Duke ahead of Syracuse)

The criteria Gary lists for "correcting" his "error" are completely arbitrary and unique to him.  You decided to change your opinion, Gary.  Just say that and spare us the tortuous breakdown.

If you want a completely mathematical evaluation of each team - don't look at Gary's poll, go to kenpom.  You'll find Duke ranked ahead of Syracuse.  I don't think Ken is going to apologize for his algorithm.




Since: Dec 15, 2008
Posted on: January 19, 2010 1:42 pm
 

Dear Gary (on why I have Duke ahead of Syracuse)

Blasphemy!


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com